Global Resilience When Dealing with Trauma as a Result of Terrorism or Mass Violence

Acts of terrorism and mass violence can have a devastating impact on individuals, communities and societies. There is a range of effects on a wide group of people, from shock and dismay, to protests, and revenge attacks on those that seem "responsible." In many cases such an impactful event can lead to a positive outcome. In the midst of man's inhumanity some of the most incredible responses and man's humanity can takes place.  Amy O'Neill and Jo Dover will examine the reactions of those affected by mass violence and terrorism including, survivors, bereaved family members, first responders, witnesses and what they went on to do that affected their family, community or society in a positive way. They will link the reactions to concepts of resilience and post traumatic growth. They will bring forth conversation from supporting and working with survivors and traumatized communities along with Amy's personal experience as a survivor of the Boston Marathon Bombing to discuss the annihilation, isolation and loneliness of this type of trauma. Finally they will discuss how those affected can learn to transform their painful experiences t build a positive and resilient future.

This session was originally presented as a live conference session in May 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Describe the commonalities of survival of terrorism and mass violence translated by a survivor of mass violence and long time victim advocate who has worked around the world with communities and individual survivors
  • Link the role of resilience to post-traumatic growth
  • Define concepts of resilience and global resilience as identified by survivors and communities impacted by mass violence
  • Outline survivor 'language' that will be helpful in the context of the therapeutic relationship
  • Describe the survivor experience as told by a survivor, mental health professional and long time advocate worker
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Amy O'Neill, MS, LPC
Presenter Bio:  Amy O’Neill is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a 25-year career in the mental health field. In 2013, Amy was injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing. Following this attack, she became involved with the Resiliency Center in Boston as a Victim Advisory Panel.
The panel was tasked with supporting the Resiliency Center staff in identifying needs of the survivors and the community. In 2018 Amy O’Neill was asked to serve as a Victim Stakeholder for the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center, the Nations’ First Mass Violence Resource Center. As a survivor of domestic terrorism, she lending her expertise to help identify long and short-term therapeutic needs of survivors from mass violence.
In March 2019 Amy served as a moderator for a peer support event in Parkland Florida with the MSD Community. She has presented on Resiliency to emergency medical care providers and has spoken on several panels discussing resilience and long term needs of survivors. She recently served on the One Boston Commemoration Advisory Committee exploring ways to commemorate “Boston’s Resilience.” The 2019 Day of Remembrance at UN Headquarters was Resilience in the Face of Terrorism and Amy was proud to contribute on several panels at this event. Amy continues to discuss her passion for the tole of resiliency in healing on her Mental Health News Radio podcast. Amy is teaching a grad level counseling psych class at Chestnut Hill College. Amy is proud that she has been added to the Office for Victims Crimes Consultant Network.

Presenter:  Jo Dover, BA, FIW
Presenter Bio:  Jo Dover has worked in the field of conflict resolution, resilience and support for people affected by conflict, war and terrorism for over 25 years. She is the Director of Jo Dover Consulting, delivering training and consultancy services in Resilience, Mental Health, and Major Incident Response. She has worked with people affected by political violence since 2001, including former armed forces personnel, and civilians who have been bereaved, injured by and witnessed acts of terrorism and other conflicts. The range of incidents include 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’, the 7/7 London bombings, Manchester Arena attack in 2017 and terrorist attacks and conflicts in Asia and Africa. Jo is currently based in New York, providing consultancy services to the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, on the Victims of Terrorism Support Programme.

Jo is an Advisory Board Member for a US based non-profit organisation, Strength to Strength, working to support and connect victims of terrorism across the world and is a member of the Health & Wellbeing Board for the Royal Marines Support Network. Jo was the creator of and the secretary to the UK’s National Critical Incident Response Advisory Group (CIRAG) and is Vice Chair of the Emergency Planning Society’s Human Aspects in Emergencies Group. She was appointed as a Fellow of the Institute of Welfare in 2017. In 2014, the University of Liverpool made Jo an Honorary Research Associate in the Sociology and Criminology Department in recognition of her work.


Available Credit

  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
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"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at to receive the appropriate discount code.